Charlottesville, Virginia (Aug. 20, 2015) – Supervisor Jane Dittmar, Chair of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, was sworn in Tuesday to serve on the Commonwealth’s Broadband Advisory Council.
Governor Terry McAuliffe established the Broadband Advisory Council to advise on policy and funding priorities to expedite deployment and reduce the cost of broadband access in the Commonwealth. Dittmar will bring a local government perspective to the Council working with members of the General Assembly and representatives from the telecommunications industry.
“Broadband is the first technology since electricity to so fundamentally impact society that it is now considered critical infrastructure,” said Dittmar. “Individual Virginia counties and towns should not have to solve this on their own. We need a statewide solution particularly for those who live in the rural areas of Virginia.”
Representing the predominantly rural Scottsville Magisterial District, Dittmar has been advocating for affordable and reliable broadband access in Albemarle County since her election to the Board of Supervisors. Currently, about 4,000 residents of rural Albemarle County are without broadband or have insufficient service to their homes, with affordability and terrain cited most commonly as the obstacles to access.
Dittmar is also a member of the Virginia Association of Counties’ (VACo) General Government Steering Committee. VACo’s broadband policy states that prioritizing access will “ensure competitive economic advantages, improve public safety, provide quality educational opportunities and facilitate telemedicine and other modern healthcare initiatives.”
The next Broadband Advisory Council meeting will be held in Richmond on September 3, 2015. Council meetings are open to the public. More information on Council members and meetings can be found at http://www.wired.virginia.gov/broadband/advisory-council/.